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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  December 22, 2009 2:00pm-3:00pm EST

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half the states living on borrowed dollars when it comes to paying unemployment benefits. so many americans lost their jobs. the states can't keep up with demand or checks. the prediction for the next two years is dire. >> there are so many people competing jobs. new grads are finding it tougher than ever to land a job. we talked to innovative group of college students finding ways around rejection letters. >> can you imagine a man of god telling people thou shall not steal. >> prince william, heir to the british throne, sleeping on the streets? we will explain that story coming up.
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good afternoon, everyone. i'm melissa francis. >> i'm melissa brewer. >> is microsoft and wordsoft. >> a federal appeals court upholding $290 million judgment against the computer giant and more importantly, issuing an injunction to prevent the sale of that popular word software. microsoft had appealed a jury verdict in favor of i4i inc. >> the court injunction now set to go into effect on january 11 had a would prohibit the sale of all currently available versions of microsoft word and microsoft office. microsoft and nbc, of course are partners in now a big story we are following. unemployment benefits saving millions of americans from foreclosure, from bankruptcy, even from hunger. so many people have applied to get those benefits now that states are going broke. >> 40 states are on track to run out of money to pay people who lost their jobs. the compensation funds are
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draining so fast that unless the states get a $90 billion infusion of cash from the federal government, they will be broke in two years. let's bring in "washington post" financial reporter neil irwin. thanks so much for joining us. what really happens if they run out of money? do they stop paying? do they borrow money from somewhere el? >> there are two ways to close these budget gaps in the next few years. one is to cut benefits which is not what you want do because people are unemployed or, you know, need the help. the other thing is to raise fees and on businesses that pay in. that also is not a very good idea because that is a disincentive for businesses to hire and prove the job markets. it is really a catch-22 that's a hard situation this next couple of years. >> when you are looking at state and local governments, they are going to get their year-end results back and probably looking at raising taxes. typically they do this at the end of the year. 33 states planning to raise unemployment insurance taxes. when you are looking at -- >> on struggling business zbles
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if you are looking at struggling businesses who you want to hire people back, doesn't raising tax owes them defeat that very purpose? >> absolutely. and this is a very direct kind of tax on employment. it is saying if you hire employees, you have to pay this set of fees into the unemployment insurance system. we understand that these funds are being tapped out but that's an incentive to hire. >> these funds will run out within two years. the economy could turn around between mao and then. we could see more people working, more people paying in to unemployment insurance. you can see the payrolls -- the winds shift there, couldn't you. >> absolutely. the problem is the unemployment ray tends to lag overall economic growth. we could easily have the unemployment rate in the 10% range another year or two. if that's the case you are going to have a lot of states really stretched thin. these funds were not well funded heading into the recession. of course, the recession downturn turned out to be far deeper than anybody was expecting.
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>> what's the answer? another federal bailout? >> you know, don't -- you never know. the federal government ponied up a lot of money to support jobless benefits. with 40 states dealing with this issue, it wouldn't be surprising if they do the same. >> thank you for joining us thanks. more of the top economic stories we are track thing hour. it is a mixed bag today. a surprise larger than expected downward revision to the third quarter of gross domestic product. did anybody understand what i just said? >> adjusted eating disorder ward. worse than what we thought. there's way to explan we got it the first time around. today new indication on the health of the housing market. november existing home sales up more than expected, 7.4%. a look at how markets are reacting to all of that news in positive territory across the board. the dow is up 50 points. the s&p right now is up almost 5%. nasdaq better than 13%.
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democrats getting closer to declaring victory in the health care fight. >> the second test motion ahead of the final christmas eve vote. >> christmas is going to be anti-climactic this year. because we have already gotten the best possible gift. 60 votes in the united states senate to create a health care system that works for all americans, not just the healthy and the wealthy. >> luke russert is our nbc news correspondent there on capitol hill. i heard a lot of back and forth today. it sounds like democrats are just furious that republicans are still dragging their feet. claire mccaskill said we could bring this in for a vote. we know the democratic votes are there and end this today so everybody can go home for the christmas holiday. >> you are right. there's a lot of animosity on capitol hill. democrats towards republicans now because they feel republicans by delaying the vote on this health care reform are going to make them be here on christmas eve. you have to remember that both sides have been here for 20 straight days or so.
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and that's a long time, as you know to come into work every day. there's a great anecdote in "the washington post" this morning that one gentleman from the democratic aide had been working so hard that he actually had to get the key to his dry cleaners because he couldn't come during normal business hours. 20 days or so of that, starts to wear on people. you are seeing that both sides are getting grouchy. they are getting angry. the rhetoric has shown. it is not stately, shall we say. >> speaking of rhetoric and anger, politico is reporting democratic congressman from alabama parker griffin is expected to announce today he's switching parties. does this come as a big surprise? >> how about that? how about that? an early christmas presents to republicans. democrats were caught off guard about this. if you look at his record, though, it is not entirely surprising. he voted against the stimulus, 11 democrats. voted against health care reform, against climate change, and back in august, he said he
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would not support nancy pelosi to be the speaker. even making a joke that he would give her a gift certificate to a mental health institution. that's not exactly the type of thing you want to say to your boss. >> by the way, he is making the decision -- can i point out, making the decision ahead of 2010 when the outside experts are saying look, it may be that some democrats are in a tough fight ahead because of health care. it seems like the timing on this -- maybe he would like to have a little "r" next to his name going into the mid-term elections. >> republicans are so popular right now? >> i mean -- >> his district was carried by john mccain with 61% of the vote. the rnc is going to go -- >> he still won. >> they are going to throw a lot of money his way. democrats, though are today demand he give back all of the money they put up for him for his 2010 raise and anything ece >> thank you for joining us take care, ladies. the president is meeting
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with leaders of small banks, talking about how to unlock credit without causing another financial meltdown. >> community banks are key to cutting red tape, lending ultimately getting businesses hiring again. >> everything that we are going to be doing here in the white house over the next several months is going to be geared towards spurring additional lending, particularly to small businesses. because we feel very optimistic that the worst is behind us. and that now is the time for us to seize opportunities. >> russell perlman is the editor for "smart money." we have this debate every day over at cnbc. what's the real reason why small banks aren't lending now? we hear -- something i heard today from a community banker. was that businesses aren't looking for loans now. the guys that are desperate for loans to make their payrolls have gone out of business, unfortunately. and the companies that are there now see into the future. they are not sure they want to borrow money or get more indebted. what's the truth. >> we can throw a couple more
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reasons. a lot of banks are sitting on bad loans already. they don't want to be the first bank out there to issue yet another bad loan. >> stupid loans are how we got in the mess in first place. >> for the past year or so, they haven't been able to make money off new loans. interest rates are so low. so that it is better for them to just borrow from the bank and buy treasury bonds because it is -- that's the best economic thing for them right now. >> if a small business goes into a community bank and says look, i want to ex-spanned my medical daycare and invest in a new best laser. they have a great business plan. what bank in their right mind would refuse a loan that they think they are going to make money off of? you know, make some interest off of? >> because, again, a situation where even though they could -- looks like a rock solid business plan, these banks have been so burnt by all of these commercial loans and all these residential real stae loans. a lot of cases they are still sitting on them. >> how are they making money? >> they are making money from borrowing from the federal reserve at zero and then, you
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know, loaning back to the government at 3%, 3.5%. >> buying treasuries. >> that's right. the thing that might get us all out for the bully pulpit the administration might be using, i think the best thing might be just greed. we have seen over the past couple of weeks that interest rates longer interest rates are rising. so banks might actually have the incentive here over the next several months they can still borrow from the government for essentially zero but can go out and lend these things at 4% to 7% to small businesses. they are actually making money off of these loans or more money to cover potential risz. >> the perception out there on main street is that banks, you know, large, small, whatever banks got this bailout from the federal government, whether it what was t.a.r.p. or lowering rates, loose money everywhere and have not turned around and loaned that money to businesses and loaned it to people who, you know, want to refinance or want to buy homes. is that the right perception? is that what's going on? >> it is the right perception. we have seen the treasuriry and federal reserve have shown lending to businesses is down
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about 17%. year over year, if you look at the big banks, they are loan being $1 billion this year less than last year. it is very true. you have a situation where like banks are really leery of -- issuing bad loans and some situations, you are right. businesses are not necessarily -- they are worried about their loan situations. >> pep talk from the president, doesn't seem like a pep talk from the president will resolve. >> we are trying. we are still doing these things. they -- they have tried to set up some of these new programs that allow them to use t.a.r.p. funds to give them as incentive to loan out to small business but as of now, those things aren't fully put together yet. and treasury department hopefully says that they hope to have an answer relatively soon. >> all right. russell, thank you. >> thank you. the fbi is investigating the cyber theft of tens of millions of dollars from citi bank. what does citi bank say about that? college kids skipping the job hunt and opting to start
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their own businesses. is this a clearer road to success? a priest advises his congregation shoplift if you are poor. he says, god won't mind. we will give you details on a controversial sermon coming up on "it's the economy." so many arthritis pain relievers -- i just want fewer pills and relief that lasts all day. take 2 extra strength tylenol every 4 to 6 hours?!? taking 8 pills a day... and if i take it for 10 days -- that's 80 pills.
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good economic news today for college students. at least in one city. >> a plan that would tax college students on their tuition. the city had proposed a 1% tax to raise $15 million a year. the city needs to bolster its pension plan but three nonprofit organizations, university of pittsburgh, carnegie mellon, and health plan insurer highmark, stepped in to make donations to help the city cover the money. pittsburgh would have been the first city in the nation to tax
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college tuition. taxing always the answer. good news maybe for college students here but for college grads the news is not so great. at least when it comes to getting a job. >> students trying to land a job after graduation aren't having much luck in the economy. msnbc's melissa rehberger is here to explain now some students are skipping the job hunt and striking out on their own. >> they are. they are starting their own businesses and at a very young age. what these young entrepreneurs are doing could be a lesson for all of us trying to survive in these tough times. in this room inside the new york stock exchange a small group of students are investing in their future. each has a business plan and a few minutes to pitch it. >> i'm the owner and ceo of your way solution. >> wouldn't it be cool if we were generating electric power from these bumps in the road. >> build your video workout and bring it to you at the gym. >> a at stake, a $150 thousand grant provided by the entrepreneurs organization.
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a group devoted to helping small businesses grow. adam blake won in 2005. he started his business because he needed money for tuition. he and a fraternity brother gathered capital to buy off campus houses to rent out. >> now we are much bigger. we have several million dollars in revenue and ventured into commercial real estate and oil and gas. >> among this year's student entrepreneurs is alex ehrlich who took his idea for business and aimed for the sky. >> we are selling ours on individually owned aircraft to defray their cost of ownership. >> alex started a company that brokers private jets like this one. he calls it the early airway. >> i have had so many experiences from this. it is one of the best things. the best thing i have ever done in my life. >> with the economy being what it is, more and more college students are graduating and hitting the pavement to look for work only to find out there are no jobs out here for them. that's one reason more students like alex are starting businesses of their own before they even leave school. >> i see a lot of my friends who
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have just left college who have been interviewing for dozens and dozens and dozens of jobs and found nothing and have no steady income. >> damon john knows a thing or two about starting a business young. he launched his business at age 20 and turned it into a global brand. >> some of the hardest lessons are that you will fail way more than you will succeed. i think that becoming a boss means that you will work twice as hard as if you are an employee. and i think that the biggest lesson is to make sure you are doing it because it is something you love and not for monetary aspect. then you will succeed. >> alex and every other student in this room plans to do just that. young minds with big dreams creating their own opportunities. there are alarm figures. a new study estimates that over the next eight years, 1.2 billion college graduates will graduate from college but only 300 million jobs will be available. that's close to a billion graduates out there with no jobs. >> starting your own business
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while you have a roof over your head and expenses paid are a great idea. >> you know what, my first job, i worked twice hard, too, for -- a fraction of a salary. that's paying urdus, isn't it? >> they are young and fearless. >> what about this thing about doing it because it is what you love. >> he loves airplanes. he decided to turn his passion into his business. he knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur. and this was just a very obvious fit for him. unfortunately, alex did not. it was called the global student entrepreneurial award. it is $150,000 grant that's at stake in this thing. alex didn't win, unfortunately. you know what, he is thrilled about his sxwisz that's what he is doing. >> thanks for the story. new jersey dad, david goldman, could learn any minute whether he will be able to bring home his son. the latest developments in the international custody battle coming up. one of tiger woods' sponsors has a change of heart and
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still no word on if new jersey dad david goldman will be reunited with his son sean. >> a brazilian judge is due to decide any time on the international custody case. it has been going on for five years now. ever since goldman's then wife took sean back to her native brazil and never returned. >> goldman has been in rio de janeiro since last week waiting for a final decision. jeff rossen is on the phone. what are you learning? >> reporter: we are waiting for the supreme court decision. we were told it would come in yesterday, then late last night. the supreme court said hold on we need a little more time. we will give you a decision tuesday morning. that came and went. we are three hours ahead of new york here in rio. it is coming up on 5:30 p.m. in rio. the chief justice still has not come back with the decision.
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any kind of final decision whether sean goldman can come home. i can tell you david goldman remains inside his rio hotel. holed up, you can use that term with u.s. embassy officials, representative chris smith, who he traveled with on this trip. along with his brazilian lawyers. his lawyers cannot explain this delay either. we don't know whether this would be good for david goldman or bad for david goldman or somewhere in the middle. but so far, no decision. i can tell you i spoke with the brazilian family's lawyer who said even if this decision goes david's way, he will work on other legal remedies to try to keep sean in this country. >> jeff, so when we are talking about earlier today, we were talking about a potential deal between the grandmother and the father of this little boy, so is that not going anywhere? >> the brazilian family said that's not true. publicly at least they are saying well, weigh don't want to deal with him. we believe sean should stay here.
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but a very reputable brazilian paper said that offer was being considered, the maternal grandmother would fly with sean back to the u.s. and under those circumstances, they would hand sean over to the consulate without a fuss. as the newspaper put it. once again the brazilian lawyer says that they don't want to make a deal with david goldman. they feel like they are in the right and sean should stay in brazil. >> jeff rossen, thanks for that report. investigators in utah have more reason to speak with the husband of missing mom susan powell. the mother of the two disappeared more than two weeks ago. the police named her husband, josh powell, a person of interest. now there's word he rented a car soon after susan disappeared and returned it a day later with several hundred miles on it. investigators have no way of knowing where he went. unless he tells them. meanwhile, an anonymous donor offered $10,000 for information in this case. a suisse watch company did an about-face on its relationship with tiger woods. just last week tag hoyer announced it would phase the
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golfer out of advertising. look at front and center. the golfer appear was the words tag heuer stands with tiger woods. the partnership will continue with no further explanation. >> in a tough economy, a british passer is telling his flock to ignore god's commandment thou shall not steal. he said if they are suffering financially should turn to soft lift but should only steal from large chains, not mom and pop shops and should not take any than they need or longer than they need it. father tim jones has made a lot of people angry this nativity sermon. for instance, the police, the retailers, members of parliament who say come on, stealing is wrong and it doesn't matter if you are poor. and -- you are stealing from the rich. is this robin hood society? the reverend says god is more concerned with the poor than with the property rights of the rich. what's next? dishonor your mother and father?
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>> property rights of the rich. the large -- you know, chain stores, owned by shareholders, pension funds. there's -- never a big group. >> his rationale was that those larger chains are more likely to pass along costs to their consumers. >> that's -- you out there. you are going pay for this. >> therefore, everybody picks up a little piece of your hard fortune. >> okay. >> you can pick and choose from the ten commandments if you want. a lot of people do. >> "the wall street journal." the bank is denying it ever happened. we are going to talk to the writer of the article and get to the bottom of this. mayor bloomberg outraged aftering two medics sat by and refused to help a pregnant woman who had collapsed. she later died. were they obligated to come forward and help her even though they were on a break?
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"the wall street journal" reports a massive online bank heist with hackers stealing tens of millions of dollars from citibank. >> the fbi is on the case. the bank denies there was any kind of security breach or loss of money. let's bring in "wall street journal" writer david enrick. what did you learn about the fbi's involve many and what went down? >> well the fbi and other federal authorities have been investigating this breach that went on. started months ago. and a number of other federal agencies have been involved and are -- i think it is part of the burgeoning case of cyber crime that's really become a major concern for the banks and for the u.s. government. >> citibank's position is you are dead wrong, this didn't happen. it is not going on, your article is wrong? >> yeah. in a nutshell. i don't want to put words in
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citigroup's mouth. >> when you were investigate thing story, what was citi's group's reply? >> they have been consistent throughout that this did not happen. >> what's your guess as to why -- obviously, i know -- we are reporters. you don't go ahead with a story this magnitude especially put it on the paper, "wall street journal," you know, having an impeccable reputation. you don't go ahead if you don't have insurmountable evidence this is going on. why do you think they don't want this story out there? >> well, i don't want to -- i don't know that citigroup's motivations for doing one thing versus another. i have been covering them for a number of years. i know in general, this is an issue. this type of issue is really the -- banks acutely sensitive to this. and customers are very nervous about all -- always nervous where their money is. especially a time like this, given the state of the economy. and citi has been fielding calls from nervous consume irs. customers asking is their money safe, what happened here? >> what did happen? what's your impression of what happened?
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russian hackers. >> yeah. based on what the authorities investigated, i don't, frankly, understand all the nuances of how the technology works. it is sophisticated type of hacking attack that's in this case specifically tailored to getting to citigroup systems and get money out. >> is there any indication, though, that there could be more risk now for other banks or because of the security holes that the hackers were able to -- >> not necessarily. i think it is a reminder of the vulnerability of the banking system in general. that's one of the risks involved with the globalization of these banks. in doing an enormous am of work, giant corporations, governments, consumers. it is a reminder. i think that of something that the obama administration is aware of that this is -- this type of criminal activity is a huge and growing risk. >> thank you for coming in. the nation's pay czar is giving one executive a troubled aig a special holiday zbift. >> how does more than $4 million
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bum in compensation sound? in a letter to the treasury department pay czar feinberg says he's granting the bonus requested to the unidentified executives long-term package would be on par with those of aiga's other top executives. on top of his $450,000 base salary the executive gets $3.26 million in stock options and additional incentive award up to $1 million down the road. >> senate democrats are track for a christmas eve health care bill pass zblaj all 58 democrats and two independent voted yes in the second procedural vote with no major roadblocks to a final vote on thursday. >> the bill is moving forward with no republican votes and plenty of criticism from the gop. >> yet, senator chris dodd today is speaking of a bipartisanship. >> my hope is still -- i know this may seem naive to some but my hope still is that our friends on the other side as we move forward in this process in the conference decide to step up and offer ideas and suggestions.
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>> joining us now is washington correspondent john hardwood of cnbc and "the new york times." thank you for joining us, john. what are the roadblocks, do you think, down the road for a conference committee of -- to merge the house and senate bills? >> the biggest roadblocks, melissa, are compromising issues like the abortion language which took so much work to get ben nelson to come onboard. the fate of the public option which the house included, the senate did not. and also how you pay for this bill. different kinds of tax measures in the house bill than in the senate bill. but i do think because democrats have turned a corner psychologically and decided they need to get this done and the cost of failure are much worse than the political costs of voting for the bill. that they are likely to be able to bridge those probably by the president's state of the union address. that's what nancy pelosi, house speaker, told copenhagen over the weekend, her timetable forget thing done. >> when we are talking about christmas eve bill passage the senate passes that. they are going to have to come
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back after christmas break into conference committee. in the meantime all the lawmakers, republican and democrat are going home. will they have to explain this to their constituents piece by piece? democrats keep saying once people understand that the specific legislation when it actually does, they are going to support it. is that job now required if they pass the bill? >> well, that's going to be the job for democrats throughout 2010. republicans don't have to justify anything. the public right now looks at what is going on in washington. and as kind of a mess. that is to the benefit of the republicans and that's part of the strategy in stretch thing out to christmas eve. it looks like washington has its act to the so poorly that they are voting just on the eve of christmas. democrats have a tougher job because they are carrying the burden of this legislation and will have to explain it in mid-term elections and i have to tell you, guys, that the hope that chris dodd expressed in that soundbite you played before is one of those things in the when pugs fly category.
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we are talking about hand-to-hand combat. this is tough fighting. i would make the contrast to that paramedic story in new york where the paramedics -- >> don't ruin it. we are about to get to it. >> the paramedics are on their break and the -- the woman is grievously ill and afterwards everybody gets upset about it and bloomberg blames them. in washington the partisan on both sides would say what are you talk about, i went on a coffee break because high colleague had a heart attack. >> that's one of the reasons why i'm looking at the latest nbc "wall street journal" poll that says 18% of americans say that they trust government to do the right thing most of the time. only 18%. 32% say that they trust government to do the right thing almost never. i mean, the sentiment is snowballing at this point, isn't it, john? >> when you have 10% unemployment in the country, when have you all of the traumas politically speaking that the country has suffered, near collapse of the financial system, bailouts for big companies, bailouts for wall street, and now you have this specter of partisan grid lock, the public has a very dim view
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of washington. what the democrats have to hope is at the end of the day obama's agenda on health, on wall street regulation, and on energy, gets through sufficiently, they go to the country and say we inherited all these big problems and set out to solve them. >> john hardwood, thank you. spet an uptick in sales ford motor company is ending the year with an attempt to shed workers. announcing the second buyout program of the year. >> car maker says it has more workers it needs and will offer $4 1,000 u.s. hourly workers a voluntary buyout. to the story john hardwood mentioned prosecutors are investigating the case of two new york emts accused of refusing to intervene to save a pregnant woman's life. >> expectant mother was working when she collapsed. her co-workers saw a couple of medics asked and asked them to help. they replied that they were on a break and instructed the employees to phone for help. the woman was taken to the hospital where she and her unborn baby died.
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her family is stunned. >> she loved her son. she would do anything to help anybody. to hear two emt workers were there and refused to help is heartbreak. >> following this story, we were talking this morning about whether new york state has a law that requires medical professionals to intervene in a medical emergency even if they are off duty. >> there's no specific law based on our conversations with the brooklyn d.a.'s office and several legal experts the state health department. there are codes of conduct these emts are sworn to uphold and to -- obligated to follow. the question now is as the brooklyn d.a. conducts their investigation, did these guys -- are their actions or inactions so egregious they ammed to a crime, where there was negligence, reckless endanger many, amounted to negative general homicide type situation. these are all questions they have to ask.
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it is very early on. as of now, these -- that is the way that this investigation is going. did they break the law through their alleged inaction. >> what about their employer? anyone else? in terms of taking some kind of action. they say they were on a break. you know, it is -- is anyone else weighing in to do anything about the situation? >> they have been suspended without pay as this investigation continues. the state health department is also investigating to see if there is any civil action or if they need to refer anything to the criminal prosecutors. remember, these guys were working as dispatchers. they walk out of a fire department headquarters on a break to go get their breakfast. you look at the fire department contract. they are paid extra for their lunch hour. there never is a lunch break. they are always on duty. >> they were dispatchers. does that mean they are normally on the radio? they don't actually work on an ambulance day in and day out giving cpr. >> not for some time had they been out on the street but they were trained emts.
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>> i don't think it excuses it. put it in a different perspective. >> they were trained emts working as dispatchers. and nonetheless, the fire department's position why they are suspended is they should have helped. should have stepped up. that's what the mayor has been say. he has been fume being this for two days now. he's called it disgraceful, unconscionable, these guys should have stepped in and helped. here's the mayor from earlier. >> they were sitting there having coffee. how could they be burnt out? they are human beings. somebody is dying down the street and say help them and they just sat there. >> that's the kind of outrage, though -- i mean, i feel that even for regular passers-by who don't get up off their feet and help another human being. so for someone who is a professional, as you point out, trained not to do it is -- zblin credible. >> mind-baffle. >> have they said anything? offered any kind of defense? have they been allowed to speak?
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>> so far they have not. there's suggestion that they are romantically involved and there's also a question several employees said that they knew the woman well because it is right near the fire department headquarters. she would sell them breakfast. they were regulars and often come in there often enough so that they knew one another. as of now we are en route -- they retain ad lawyer. we will be interviewing the lawyer later this afternoon to get some sort of explanation. >> do they know why she died? >> no, they don't. the family, you know, early on -- they had a funeral. buried. these questions surfaced as to what should have happened, what could have happened. it is possible that the body will be exhumed. the medical examiner will do an autopsy. she suffered from asthma. could more have been done? >> 11 minutes. >> how about the little boy in the picture, do we know how he is doing? >> we spoke the family. a 3-year-old child and asking when his mommy is coming home. just the other morning he went
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off looking for his mom, according to relatives. they are trying to figure out what the best course of action. the victim's twin brother flew home from afghanistan and is trying to help the family find the best home. it appear it is grandmother will likely to take custody. >> that's a heartbreaking story. >> 11 minutes. they said call for help. it took 11 minutes before the actual paramedics who were going to intervene got there. up next, a new report on child booster seats. it is shocking how many don't meet standards for safety. prince william spends the night sleeping in the streets of britain. we are going to explain why after this quick break. (announcer) we call it the american renewal.
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right now.
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prince william slumming in the streets of london? >> that's right. the man who second in line to the british throne spent the night sleeping in a sleeping bag on top of royal boxes. is the royal family that hard up? i doubt it. tom aspell joins from us london to explain.
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what's this about? >> well, prince william is at a center point, charity for the homeless. earlier this year he called for more to be done to help britain's homeless and an executive challenged him to spend a night on the streets to experience what it was really like. so this week, equipped with a sleeping bag and warm clothes, the prince slept in a secluded spot near black pry yard's bridge in the center of london. temperatures dropped below freezing point. and apparently at one point the prince was nearly run over by a mechanical street sweeper. he was unrecognized during his night on the streets. melissa, contessa. >> that would have been a story if he had the prince out sleeping on the streets and run over by a street sweeper. >> yes. i would say. thank you so much for that story. today the insurance institute for highway safety is out with new ratings on child car booster seats. it tested 60 different makes and models of booster seats. only a quarter of them got top rating. tests showed the best booster seats position the children well in relationship to the seat
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belt. it runs squarely over the middle of the child's shoulder and lap belt sits flat across the thigh. >> now that we got that straight, here is a little tennessee williams for you. what's the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof? staying on it as long as it can. ♪ cat scratch fever the same for a cat on a robotic vacuum. fighting with the pit bull. can you imagine this? >> why doesn't he eat him? >> no the. she has claws. i don't know what the moving thing is underneath her. >> a robotic vacuum. >> a rumba. works great actually. >> looks like he's having a great time. ride on the vacuum and beating the dog. >> you know how many 5-year-olds are told to get off. >> this is awesome. coming back for more. >> consider this a holiday gift
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for you. >> i love it. we will be right back. ( sneeze ) transform drinks you want, into cold medicine you need. introducing fast crystal packs. a new way from alka-seltzer plus to... get cold and flu relief in a taste-free, fizz-free powder. alka-seltzer plus. green beans. corn. corn. [ female annncer ] it's the most wonderful time of the year, and walmart's here to help i really should make lists. [ female announcer ] people who spent $100 a week at leading national supermarkets on frequently purchased groceries could'veaved $165 in 3 months by spping at walmart. christmas costs less at walmart. save money. live better. lmart.
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dear santa claus. how have you been? did you have a nice summer? how is your wife? i have been extra good this year. i have a long list of presents i want. >> oh, brother. >> please note the size and color of each item and send as many as possible. >> okay, yes. that's what dear santa letters are like for some kids when a charlie brown christmas came out decades ago. >> these days, some letters are a little less about what kids want and more about what they need. in florida the letters to santa program is getting a lot of requests for st. nick to bring family members a job. >> kelly is the program's head elf. i understand that you got an especially pointian letter from a boy about finding a job for
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his grandfather. >> yes, i did. a little boy wrote in about his grandmother was ill and his grandfather had lost his job. had been trying several times to get a job and the little boy thought that he would help his grandfather out and send the resume to santa claus to see if santa claus could help him find a job. >> i understand you got one, sons asking for a mom's return from afghanistan. >> yes. we actually received more than one letter. children asking for their parents to be returned from the war. >> and how many letters are you getting where children mention that their families are in tough times? >> more than we would like to see, actually. we do receive several letters from children who know about the problem was the economy. they see firsthand their parents lost their jobs. and, you know, they know that they are in bad way. and that some of them are living in shelters. and parents are writing and
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asking for clothes and shoes and necessities for their children rather than toys. >> some post offices are trying to could something about that, right? >> yes. we have our operation santa program. we have 39 offices across the country. who are helping to answer the letters of these needy families. we have tool tears from individuals and organizations who sign up to adopt a letter and they go out and purchase the items that are needed for the children or toys that they request and ship -- ship them out to the children. we ship them for them, actually. >> and -- do you feel like you are getting enough volunteers to handle that? it is just heart breaking to think kids would write in to santa and instead of asking for toys under the tree, asking santa to help mayor mom or dad get a job. >> right. actually, we can always use more volunteers. i hate to see that we have more needy letters than volunteers but the community has come forth and really helped out and we appreciate what they have done
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for the children. >> what do you do in a situation like that? that little boy not going to be able to find his grandfather a job. >> well, we are going to see what options we have to try to help out. if will's anything that we can do, we will try to do it. >> kelly, i think it is good work you are doing. thank you so much for joining us and telling us about that. >> thank you. thank you for having me and same to you. >> that wraps up this hour of "it's the economy." you are leave. >> i'm taking a vacation. i'm leaving unsupervised. >> i wanted to bring -- she brought me a present. it was a gift bag full of jingle bells and i have been enannoying everyone with the best gift wrap ever. >> that's why i brought her a bunch of bells. >> i'm buying your son a cow bell. >> please don't. >> david shuster picks things up. rnc chairman michael steele accuses democrats of sfliping americans the bird when it comes to health reform. colorful language.
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i like the imagery. his controversial words coming up in the next hour. let the all-new help bring your family to the table this holiday. from timeless favorites like campbell's green bean casserole to new classics like swanson herb roasted turkey with pan gravy and pepperidge farm holiday brie en croute even clever ideas that give leftovers a full makeover. for inspiration, family pleasing recipes and 15 dollars in valuable coupons, explore the all-new for a very happy holiday.
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